Bronte Law is this close to making it three birdies in a row and grabbing a share of the lead. Having found the rough down the right of 16, she guides her second into the heart of the green, pretty much the best result possible from the angle she was coming in, the pin tucked behind a bunker on the left. The resulting 30-foot putt stops a couple of inches short. She remains at -7. Meanwhile just the par for Salas on 12. She shakes her head as she walks off the green, having clearly fancied getting up and down from 70 yards or so.
The leader Salas wedges her second at 12 to 20 feet. She looks thoroughly disgusted with herself, illustrating the level she’s been playing at today. Meanwhile Ariya Jutanugarn continues to see-saw, dropping a stroke at 14, then failing to threaten birdie at the par-five 15th, quite the disappointment for such a long hitter. She’s back to -6.
Back-to-back birdies for Bronte Law! She sends her third at the par-five 15th to 15 feet, then makes the gentle left-to-right slider to move to -7. Nelly Korda slips to -5 after finding the trees off the tee at 12. And the world number one is quietly nudging her way into the thick of it. Ko Jin-young started slowly this morning, with bogey at 3, but birdies at 8 and now 12 have pushed her up to -5.
Close study of the last leaderboard shows Ariya Jutanugarn back at -7. Thailand’s first major-winning golfer already has a British Open to her name – she won it here in 2016. And she’s looking to repeat the trick. Birdie at 13, and she’s just a shot off Salas’s lead. Meanwhile it’s been a productive morning for Maria Torres. The first LPGA star from Puerto Rico nearly aced 14 yesterday, and continues to entertain today, hitting the turn in 33. She’s -3 overall.
It’s a lovely day at Woburn. Warm, the sun poking through the clouds, and very little wind. It looks like it’s going to be another day of low scoring. So having said that, Georgia Hall lets a 12-foot birdie chance slide by the cup on 13. But she’s still going along nicely at -6, yet to drop a shot this week.
Another birdie for Bronte Law, this time at the par-three 14th. It momentarily gives her a share of second place, but then Lizette Salas, the 30-year-old from Azusa, California near the Mexican border on Route 66, birdies 10 to snatch the outright lead for herself. Salas’s best performance at a major was her tie for fifth at this year’s PGA, but she’s also got a sixth-place finish at this event on her resume, back in 2013 on the Old Course at St Andrews no less. She also sunk the winning putt at the 2017 Solheim Cup. Could this be the next step up?
-8: Salas (10)
-7: A Jutanugarn (13), Buhai
-6: Law (14), Hall (12), N Korda (10), Shibuno, Kang
It’s also been a good morning for English hope Bronte Law. The 24-year-old from Stockport trudged off the 18th last night a bit downcast, having missed a good birdie chance. But she was still signing for a bogey-free 70. And she’s still to drop a shot this week. Birdies at 1, 5 and 10, the rest pars, and she’s -5 through 13.
Good morning Woburn!
Come to Milton Keynes, they told the best golfers in the world. And come they have, to cook up something special on the Marquess Course at Woburn. This is already shaping up to be a fantastic tournament. After a low-scoring opening round, with some fine attacking golf on display, the top of the leaderboard looked like this …
-6: Shibuno, Kang
-5: SH Park, Hull, M Jutanugarn, Khang
-4: Lee6, A Jutanugarn, JY Ko
… but it hasn’t taken long for some dramatic changes to have occurred this morning! Lizette Salas, who came close at the PGA earlier this year, burst out of the blocks with four birdies on the bounce. That’s given her a share of the lead. Ariya Jutanugarn was up there with Salas and surprise overnight leader Ashleigh Buhai, having reached the turn this morning in 33, but bogey at 11 has dropped her back to a shot off. And she’s joined at the leaders’ shoulders by big-hitting Nelly Korda, who turns in 32, and the defending champion Georgia Hall, who has left her 2019 form behind and is keeping it resolutely 2018, playing the front nine in 33 this morning.
-7: Salas (9), Buhai
-6: A Jutanugarn (12), Hall (11), N Korda (10), Shibuno, Kang
So let’s waste no further time. Let’s get out there. It’s on!